USA vs Costa Rica Soccer: 5 Bold Predictions for International Friendly

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2011

USA vs Costa Rica Soccer: 5 Bold Predictions for International Friendly

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    Things won't be so friendly in this International friendly, as Jurgen Klinsmann is ready to send a message to the soccer world that he will take USA to the next level. This match against Costa Rica will be an opportunity to do just that.

    The U.S.A and Costa Rica are currently knotted at 11-11-6 in head-to-head match ups. This will be their first friendly match since 1995, however, these two have met numerous times since then in CONCACAF action. 

    This will be Klinsmann's second match as the coach of the US, and his addition to the sidelines means interest in this contest will be at a far greater level than usual for a friendly.

No. 1: Fabian Johnson Will Shut Down Alvaro Saborio

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    Fabian Johnson will be making his US debut after jumping the pond. He was previously manning the defense for German's U-21 team.

    Johnson won't start this game, but I expect he will get plenty of time as Klinsmann integrates him to his new team.

    Johnson is a promising young defender and he will show his skill right away. Johnson will be charged with the tough task of marking Alvaro Saborio, and he will shut him down.

No. 2: Jozy Altidore Will Score a Goal

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    This will be Altidore's first match under Klinsmann, so he is going to be eager to make a strong impression.

    Altidore is now coming back into form after returning from injuries. He is a fantastic striker, and I expect he will get more than a few opportunities in this one.

    Altidore will turn at least one of those opportunities into a goal.

No. 3: Clint Dempsey Will Play a Bigger Role in US Attack

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    This will also be Clint Dempsey's first match under Klinsmann. I expect Klinsmann to move the talented Dempsey around to best utilize his talents.

    Dempsey has grown used to manning the right wing for the US, so In this match he will get some time there, and also try out a central playmaking role.

    Dempsey is going to be charged with setting the table for his strikers, and I expect him to reward Klinsmann for his new found freedom with results.

No. 4: Match Will Be Tied at 1 Entering Halftime

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    These are two fairly evenly matched squads, and the first half will be a display of this.

    Costa Rica will control the flow early as the US adjusts to their new coach's game plan, but Tim Howard will be able to limit the damage.

    So, despite being out-shot and controlling less possession, the US will roll into halftime with a 1-1 tie.

No. 5: And the Winner Is...

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    Buoyed by the fact that they were outplayed in the first half yet still managed a tie, the US will come out firing in the second half.

    As players adjust to their new roles and tactics under Klinsmann, they will begin to find their groove and take control of this match.

    They will score not one, but two second half goals, and those goals will go unanswered. The US will win this match 3-1.